Dalek

* This near-future episode is now so old that it is in fact set in the past. Therefore the President that Van Statten wants replaced must be Obama – 2012 was the year of his second election victory. He says he wants a Democrat next, but of course the next President after Obama is categorically not that. Given that Van Statten was taken away and effectively killed before his orders were fulfilled, is it his former assistant’s fault that we’ve got fucking Trump?

* Top Trivia Fact: The stock footage of Bad Wolf One descending is used in The West Wing‘s opening titles.

* I started watching Coronation Street regularly in 2010, and so when Todd Grimshaw returned to the cobbles a few years later, I was eternally amused that Adam Mitchell had ended up in Weatherfield. Now, having watched several hundred episodes of Corrie since I last watched Dalek, it’s completely the other way round, and Todd Grimshaw has somehow shown up a secret facility in Utah.

* Eccleston’s finest moments so far come in his initial scene with the Dalek. He’s just incredible, and while there are other Doctors before or since that could have done wonderful things with this material, I can’t picture anyone else doing it in quite this way, with so much venom and rawness. Soon afterwards, the Doctor is essentially depicted as Christ, but after that scene, it’s earned.

* The Daleks – or rather, the Dalek – are/is genuinely better than ever. The writing is on a par with the finest Dalek stories of the old series, even before they take it into a whole new direction, and Nick Briggs is easily up there with Hawkins and Skelton. Their physical depiction is what raises the game – the beautiful construction job by Mike Tucker and team, and their newfound abilities. They can sucker people to death, dissolve bullets, rotate every section independently, and properly fly; some of these abilities have been implied before, and I’d never detract from the last bit of Dalek/stairs action, but it’s such a treat to actually see it all in such glorious detail.

* There are so many great moments – The Doctor with the Cyberman head, the Dalek setting off the fire alarm and in order to electrocute everyone, Rose saying goodbye when she was trapped behind the bulkhead. The Dalek is undoubtedly the star of this show (and as much as I love Davros, it’s nice to see them centre-stage without him), but Rose is a close second – the only human who can understand and reason with both the Dalek and the Time Lord. This episode is utterly, utterly perfect.

RATING: 10

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